Srinagar, June 15: Pitching for complete demilitarisation and the withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Public Safety Act (PSA) and other draconian laws, Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA) Saturday said that a special investigating team monitored by Supreme Court of India should be set up to probe the cases involving rapes and deaths at the hands of security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Saturday, CPA eight member team led by eminent journalist and civil society activist,
Seema Mustafa, said that over the last several decades, Kashmir has had a history strewn with violence and killings, bad governance and general apathy from successive regimes at Centre.
She said old issues of justice and rights hadn’t been resolved. “This has bred deep anger and alienation amongst the Kashmiri people,” said Seema. She said there was a need to sensitise the people of India about the grave issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“CPA has taken various initiatives in this regard and it has already sensitised the students of various universities of India.
Today if any Kashmir gets arrested in New Delhi, all the students in New Delhi resent it and demand an immediate release. It is just because we sensitised students about Kashmir issue. It is not easy to talk about Kashmir in the wake of strong opposition in New Delhi,” she said. Seema Mustafa said the death of 112 boys, during 2010 mass agitation, at the hands of security forces and the mass arrests of young people that continue, has given the slogan of azadi more popular and widespread support.
During the press conference, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Mohammad Salim came down heavily on the respective regimes at the State and the Centre for their inaction in Kunan Poshpora mass rape cases and said that CPA members will meet Prime Minister of India and will demand action against the defence personnel involved in this heinous crime.
“Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident is a stain on the Indian democracy. It is irony that even after the recommendations made by State Human Rights Commission, the State Government acted as a mute spectator and did nothing in this regard,” he said. Secretary General All India Catholic Union, John Dayal, said he was shocked to hear woeful tales from every Kashmiri.
“Security personnel acting like beasts have let loose a reign of terror and nothing is done to stop human rights violations. Hundreds of rapes committed by security personnel have not come to light as the victims due to known reasons did not report those case,” he said adding that it was tragic to hear about the atrocities committed by the Defence personnel. Former Director General Border Security Force, E.N.Rammohan, said that there was a high level of anger and frustration in the fourth generation to be born in conflict-torn Kashmir. “The young people have lost hope and are helpless. There is an apprehension that this could be utilised by vested interests for abetting the armed movement,” he said.
Dr Balachandra Kango from CPI said Kashmir Valley has a large number of widows and half-widows whose husbands have died or have disappeared over the years. “There are hundreds of women who have been sexually molested and have lost their children to the violence,” he said. Noted writer and social worker, Harsh Mander, said the level of stress related trauma was very high. “CPA delegation witnessed the hysteria as women from different parts of Kashmir narrated their woeful tales.” Sehba Farooqi said CPA was putting all its efforts to make the people of India aware about the sufferings of the Kashmiris. Professor Kamal Chenoy said it was shameful on party of security personnel to indulge in atrocities and rapes. “A soldier stands for the protection of life but Kashmir has its own story to tell where soldiers tarnish the chastity of women,” he said.
The delegation castigated the state government for putting Hurriyat (G) Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, under continuous house arrest. “When one fears the popularity of his opponent, he goes to any extent. Same is the case here. Government seems to be helpless before Geelani” said the CPA Chairman, Seema Mustafa.